To the Unknown Helper #28: reflections on Mahler

I dreaded that first robin so,
But he is mastered now,
And I ‘m accustomed to him grown, —
He hurts a little, though.

I thought if I could only live
Till that first shout got by,
Not all pianos in the woods
Had power to mangle me.

I dared not meet the daffodils,
For fear their yellow gown
Would pierce me with a fashion
So foreign to my own.

I wished the grass would hurry,
So when ‘t was time to see,
He ‘d be too tall, the tallest one
Could stretch to look at me.

I could not bear the bees should come,
I wished they ‘d stay away
In those dim countries where they go:
What word had they for me?

They ‘re here, though; not a creature failed,
No blossom stayed away
In gentle deference to me,
The Queen of Calvary.

Each one salutes me as he goes,
And I my childish plumes
Lift, in bereaved acknowledgment
Of their unthinking drums.

(Emily Dickinson)

Edward G. Nilges, “State of The Unknown Helper as of 6 Aug 2010”, acrylic on canvas 50*60

Edward G. Nilges, “Detail of State of The Unknown Helper as of 6 Aug 2010”, acrylic on canvas 50*60

Edward G. Nilges, “Detail of State of The Unknown Helper as of 6 Aug 2010”, acrylic on canvas 50*60

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